They've won the World Cup four times, tied with Italy for second most of any nation. They're the defending world champs. You have to go back to 1938 to find the last time their men's national team failed to make it out of the first round of play. Until now.
Today, to mix a sports metaphor, there is no joy in Munich. Or Berlin, or Hamburg. The mighty Germans have struck out.
In a shocking result yesterday, Germany got shut out by South Korea 2-Nil, a result that ends their shot at defending their 2014 championship and propels Mexico into the knock-out round of play, despite that country's 3-0 loss to Sweden, who are also moving on.
The Germans knew they needed a win to get out of group play, and with the score 0-0 into stoppage time, they became desperate, taking chances that led to two quick goals, one after the Koreans were initially called off sides, but the goal that resulted was granted after video review showed they were indeed on-side when they struck. The insult to injury second goal by Korea came as the Germans flooded nearly all their players upfield and were left exposed in their own end.
So Korea knocks out the defending champs, but will not get their own shot at ultimate glory, also failing to get into the elimination rounds with Sweden and Mexico finishing 1-2 in Group F.
Brazil topped Serbia 2-Nil yesterday, with both nations moving on, and setting up an intriguing match between Mexico and Brazil in the knock out round.
And despite blowing a late 2-1 lead in stoppage time to a gutsy squad from Costa Rica, who were just oplaying for pride, Switzerland has made the round of 16 after their 2-2 draw.
Today's games are quite meaningful for teams still looking to advance, including Senegal against Columbia. Senegal can advance with a draw, but if they lose outright, the Columbians will leap frog them into the knock out round and Senegal will be eliminated.
Japan needs only a tie to advance when they take on already eliminated Poland today, and don't be surprised to be second stringers taking the pitch for both Belgium and England today. Both squads are already into the knock out stage and have more incentive to lose than win today, because the winner of their match will be put into a tougher elimination bracket than the loser.
Panama and Tunisia are both going home, but they'll play for third place in their group in their final gamke today.
The Boston Red Sox jumped out to a 6-0 lead against the L.A. Angels and held that lead for most of the game, but if you turned it off early thinking the Sox had it in the bag, you were only partly right.
Boston's 6-0 lead was gone by the top of the 7th when the Angels tied the game at six, but despite blowing that sizeable lead the Red Sox did go on to win the game 9-6 to run their record to a perfect 5-0 against the Angels this season.
Rafael Devers had the go ahead hit, a run producing double off reliever Jose Alvarez in the bottom of the 7th. He would score on a single by Sandy Leon, who also belted a home run as part of an explosive six-run third inning that included a solo shot by Eduardo Nunez and a three run blast by J.D. Martinez, who now leads the majors with 25 home runs.
That win will send the Red Sox into the Bronx tomorrow night with a half game lead over the NY Yankees, who failed to complete an inter-league sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies in a 3-0 loss last night.
Rhys Hoskins did all the damage for the Philly offense, smacking an opposite field three-run homer off Luis Cessa in the second inning and Phillies starter Zach Elfin did the rest, holding the powerful Yankee line-up scoreless in winning his fifth straight start. Elfin went seven innings and gave up just four hits, walking two and striking out six, while keeping the young and rebuilding Phillies in the mix for the playoffs, currently in second place in the N.L. east, just 2 1/2 games behind the also surprising division leading Atlanta Braves.
The NY Mets took a 3-1 lead into the top of the 9th against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field in Queens last night, and if you're a Mets fan, you can guess at what I'm going to say next. The Mets could not hold that lead, the Pirates scored four times in the ninth, and came away with a 5-3 victory. David Freese hit the go-ahead two-run single with the bases juiced to send the Mets to yet another disheartening loss, and even though closer Jeurys Familia did not give up that winning hit, he might as well have. Familia failed to record an out in the 9th, loading the bases before being lifted for Jordy Mercer, who didn't fare much better, and served up the pitch that Freese hit for the game winner.
The Toronto Blue Jays also lost a close one, falling to the defending World Series champion Houston Astros 7-6. The Jays were unable to capitalize on a rare poor outing by Dallas Keuchel, who gave up five runs in the first inning. The Astros clawed back and won the game in the ninth on a walk-off, two-run homer by Alex Bregman off Ryan Tepera.
UVM star forward Ross Colton will not be returning for his junior year with the University of Vermont, making the jump instead to the NHL by signing with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
That was the destination that ultimately led to a Hall of Fame induction Tuesday for another former Catamount, Martin St. Louis, who's now enshrined with the other immortals of the game in Toronto. Ross led UVM in scoring in both of his seasons with the Catamounts, with 28 goals and 22 assists for 50 points over his freshman and sophomore seasons.